A Series of Unfortunate Conversations



Conversation The First

Scene: Sultry summer night in mid-July. Heavily pregnant woman rushes into bedroom and quickly and gracelessly heaves herself onto bed where man is deep in sleep, quietly snorkeling.

Woman: (not even trying to be quiet) BAT!
Man: Huh…? Ung…?
Woman:
A BAT! A BAT! IN OFFICE! BAT! BAT! BAT!
Man:
Zzzzzzz…wha…? Bunt?
Woman:
(pounds on man's chest with both fists) BAAAAAAAAAAT!
Man:
(man jumps up and sprays a string of drool across the wall) Bat…?
Woman:
BAT!
Man:
Bat?
Woman:
BAT! FLY! BAT!
Man:
(becomes instantly alert and strikes noble pose of ninja flapping arms madly about head to deflect a bat) Where?! WHERE?!
Woman:
NO! THERE! THERE! THERE!
Man:
GO! GO! SHOW BAT!
Woman:
COME! BAT! GO! SHOW BAT!

Exit room a la Three Stooges.



Conversation the Second


Scene: Same night. Hallway of house. Dim light. Heavily pregnant woman and the man are standing outside the door to home office. Both stare intently at the door.


Man:

Woman:

Man:

Woman:
It’s in there.
Man:
Woman:
Man:

Woman:
Did you hear what I -
Man:
Yes! Yes! I heard you!
Woman:

Man:

Woman:
Well?
Man:
I’m thinking.
Woman:
The cat’s in there, too.
Man:
Hmmmm.
Woman:
Yes?
Man:
Maybe the cat will kill the bat.
Woman:
Good. Yes.
Man:
Okay. Good. Yes.
Woman:
Good.
Man:
Yes.
Woman:

Man:

Woman:
What if the bat has rabies?
Man:

Woman:
I said -
Man:
Okay! I heard you!
Woman:
Because then the cat -
Man:
Yeah! Okay, I get it!
Woman:

Man:

Woman:
So……?
Man:
I know what to do.
Woman:
Yes! What to do?
Man:
Go. Get me a big box, a roll of duct tape, a flashlight, a large hat, and a shot of whiskey. Go. Go. Go.
Woman:
A shot of…?
Man:
Fortification.
Woman:
Right! Got it! I’m going!

Conversation The Third

Voice on phone: Good morning. Game Commission.
Woman:
We have a bat in our house. Please come get it.
Voice on phone:
M’am, you said you have…a bat?
Woman:
Yes. A bat. Come get it now, please.
Voice on phone:
A live bat? Or is it dead?
Woman:
Well, I think it’s still alive.
Voice on phone:
Where is it right now?
Woman:
It’s in a bookcase.
Voice on phone:

Woman:
It’s in a bookcase.
Voice on phone:
A bookcase…
Woman:
Yes. The cat cornered the bat in the bookcase and we sealed the bat in with an empty Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie carton.
Voice on phone:

Woman:
And duct tape.
Voice on phone:
So it might still be alive. You don’t know.
Woman:
No.
Voice on phone:
Could you go see if the bat is alive?
Woman:
No.
Voice on phone:
Okay. We’ll send an officer over right now to get the bat.
Woman:
Thank you. I’ll pour the whiskey.


Conversation The Fourth

Different Voice on Phone: Hello. Department of Agriculture Laboratory. How can I help you?
Woman:
Hello. I just spoke with an officer from the Game Commission who said that he would be dropping off a bat at your labs for rabies testing.
Lab Guy:
Hmmm. A bat you say?
Woman:
Yes. He caught the bat in our house early this morning and said that he was bringing it directly to the lab for testing. See, our cat was locked in a room with the bat and we don’t know whether the bat bit the cat but then while I was trying to catch the cat that was with the bat, the cat bit me, and now the bat needs to be tested.
Lab Guy:
The bat bit you?!
Woman:
No. The cat did.
Lab Guy:
And the cat is here now?
Woman:
Bat. Not cat.
Lab Guy:
In French chat-chapeau?
Woman:
No. In French chauve-souris.
Lab Guy:
Got it!
Woman:
The bat?
Lab Guy:
No. There’s no bat here.
Woman:
Okay, uhm, no. You’re wrong. There is a bat there. The guy from the Game Commission told me that this is the only lab in the area and you would have the bat lickety split.
Lab Guy:
Well, I’ll tell you what. If your bat comes in, I’ll call you immediately.
Woman:
You will?
Lab Guy:
Oh yes! Bats. Serious business. You know, a rabid bat could bite you or your children while you’re all sleeping and you’d never know it. You’d be dead in a month without knowing what hit you.
Woman:

Lab Guy:
You still there?
Woman:
Yes. I was just pouring myself a shot of whiskey.
Lab Guy:
That's the spirit! I’ll call you later.


Conversation The Fifth


Voice on Phone:
Hello, Game Commission.
Woman:
I’ve spoken with the lab five times today and still no bat.
Voice on Phone:
Excuse me?
Woman:
I called about a bat today. Your guy came and extracted a bat from my house and told me he brought it to the lab for testing.
Voice on Phone:
Oh yes, I remember you now.
Woman:
Well, the lab doesn’t have the bat.
Voice on Phone:
Just one second.
Woman:

Woman:

New Voice on Phone
: Hello! You’re the lady with the bat! I was by your house today. Real nice bat you had there.
Woman:
Now see here! I’ve called the lab a few times today and they told me no bat!
Officer:
No bat, hmmm?
Woman:
Yes! No bat! What do you have to say about this?
Officer:
Well, I wasn’t going to tell you, because I figured you’d be real upset. But, I let the bat go.
Woman:
YOU WHAT?
Officer:
Yeah, see, I was in the parking lot and I put the bat on the ground before I was going to kill it…
Woman:
YOU WHAT?
Officer:
…and it flew away.
Woman:
IT FLEW AWAY?
Officer:
Durndest thing, too. A bat flying away like that….
Woman:
IT FLEW AWAY?
Officer:
Yep. Just flew away over the tree tops.
Woman:
IT FLEW AWAY?
Officer:
Who’da thunk it?
Woman:
IT HAS WINGS! WOULDN’T THAT BE A FIRST CLUE?!
Officer:
Ah, now don’t you go gettin’ all worried like. It looked real healthy, a bat like that. If you're askin’ me, I’ll tell you I seen plenty of sick bats and that bat didn’t look sick as far as I could tell. Flying away, free as can be….
Woman:
I wanted it tested for rabies! I wanted cold hard science all over this, not some touchy-feely eyeball analysis from Mister Born Free emancipator of bats!
Officer
: Ah whelp, I’m just sorry as all get out about your bat.
Woman:
YOU'RE SORRY? SORRY?
Officer
: Yep. Won’t happen again, I promise. Okay now, you have a good ole day, ya hear?
Woman:
!!!


Conversation The Sixth


Woman:
Uhmmm, Honey?
Man on phone:
Yes.
Woman:
You’ve never happened to be vaccinated for rabies, have you?
Man on phone:
What?
Woman:
Vaccinated for rabies. You know. Like maybe when you were little you were playing with a raccoon….
Man on phon
e: No. No, I never played with raccoons.
Woman:
Okay, well then, the Department of Health says we all need to go start rabies shots.
Man on phone:
WHAT?
Woman:
I know this sounds crazy, but they followed up after the Game Commission’s bat report and I told them what happened and that they let the bat go and now we don’t know whether it was positive or negative for rabies and that the bat was in the house while we were sleeping and that all our bedroom doors were open they said that bats can bite you in your sleep and you’d never know it and it’s bad.
Man:

Woman:
It happened to a kid in Texas this past May.
Man:
Sigh
Woman:
Yeah…so…we have to go to the Emergency Room because that’s the only place they have the shots.
Man:
Can’t they just like, check us for bites or something?
Woman:
Well the woman at the CDC said…
Man:
The CDC?
Woman:
Yes, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. It’s speed dial number 5 on our kitchen phone. Anyway, the CDC says that the bites are just like pinpricks and you can’t even see them….
Man:
Sigh
Woman:
And then I spoke with a doctor who is the head of rabies studies for the State of Pennsylvania…
Man:
Who now?
Woman:
Well, I can’t remember his name, but the woman at the Department of Health got sick of me calling and asking questions about rabies and bats, so she gave me his number.
Man:
And what did he say?
Woman:
Well, first he asked how I got his home number.
Man:
And then?
Woman:
Because it’s unlisted.
Man:
And then?
Woman:
He said that most bats don’t have rabies, but the ones that get into houses are more likely to have rabies.
Man:
That’s encouraging.
Woman:
And he said that the chances are slim that we were exposed to rabies….
Man:
Good.
Woman:
But that he couldn’t guarantee it.
Man:
Of course.
Woman:
He said that in all the literature written about bat bites, that there has never, ever, ever been an occurrence of an entire family getting rabies from one bat…
Man:
Phew.
Woman:
…but, he said, then again that’s why they make White Out.
Man:

Woman:
I thought that was funny.
Man:

Man:
So you and I have to get shots?
Woman:
And the girls.
Man:
The girls, too? Sigh. I can’t believe this.
Woman:
Well, it’s like a one an a bazillion chance that the bat even bit us. Then it’s like one in a kazillion that the bat was even rabid, but….
Man:
But?
Woman:
But if it was rabid, and it did bite us in our sleep…
Man:
…okay…rabies, right? That's what? I mean, what’s the worse that can happen?
Woman:
…we’re going to foam at the mouth, become incredibly thirsty and yet scream at the sight of water, and then endure days of excruciating muscle spasms until we all die.
Man:

Woman:

Man:
Meet you at the hospital.
Woman:
Yeah, I thought so.

Conversation The Seventh

Woman: Hey girls! Guess what we’re going to do today?
Girls:
What, Mommy, what?!
Woman:
We’re going to visit the hospital!
Girls:
Yipee! We‘re going to have the baby! The baby!
Woman:
No, no…remember the bat we had in our house the other night?
Girls:
Is the bat having babies?
Woman:
The bat might have rabies.
Girls:
Yipee! Rabies! Rabies!
Woman:
Do you know what rabies is?
Girls:
Rabies are bat babies!
Woman:
No. Rabies is a bad sickness.
Girls:

Woman:
And the bat might have given the rabies to us.
Girls:

Woman:
And now we have to go get rabies shots.
Girls:

Woman:
But it won’t hurt.
Girls:
Wwwwaaaaaaaaaa!
Woman:
Much.
Girls:
WWwwAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Woman:
Oh, c’mon now, cheer up! At least it’s not twelve shots in the stomach like back when I was a kid! Now it’s just five shots in the leg over the course of 28 days. Piece of cake!
Girls:
WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


Conversation The Eighth


Scene: Emergency Room of Local Hospital. After waiting two hours to be triaged, the Halushki family is now sitting in a curtained room speaking with the Attending Physician, who The Woman demanded to see after the intern informed them that they would not be receiving the initial shots of rabies immunoglobulin along with the vaccination as per CDC and WHO protocol for the 0,3,7,14, 28 day rabies series.

Woman: WHY ARE WE NOT RECEIVING THE INITIAL SHOTS OF RABIES IMMUNOGLOBULIN AS PER THE CDC AND WHO PROTOCOL FOR THE 0,3,7,14,28 RABIES SERIES!

Attending Physician: M’am, you need to calm down.

Woman:
NO! NO! NO CALMING DOWN! WANT IMMUNOGLOBULIN!

AP:
Now, I know what the CDC protocol is, but this is how I’ve always treated possible rabies exposures by bats. We just give the shots without the immunoglobulin. It’s always been successful.

Woman:
(breathing into paper bag) You know, as soon as someone says, “This is the way we’ve done it and it’s always been successful” I immediately see an asterisk with a note at the bottom of the page that says *except in the case of one family from Pennsylvania who didn’t receive treatment according to protocol and God rest their souls.

AP:
If these were my own children, my own grandchildren, I‘d give them the shots without the immunoglobulin.

Woman:
Fine. Then do so. But these are my kids.

AP:
Do you know how much the immunoglobulin shots are going to hurt?

Woman:
No. You tell me. More or less than convulsing to death?

AP:
Now listen here. I have a Ph.D. in microbiology and am an expert in the field of virology….

Woman:
And I’m a well-read hypochondriac with an honorary doctorate from Google University….

AP:
Listen. If you were bitten at all, the bite would be small. A bite that size would take longer to incubate. If you start the vaccine today, in fourteen days your immunity level should be sufficient to stop the virus. If you even were exposed. Honestly, you have more risk of dying from a vending machine toppling over on you.

Woman:
I’ll never go near a Coke dispenser again.

Man:
(chiming in from the corner) Honey, I trust what the doctor is telling us.

Woman:
We’re all going to die.

AP:
Not today. Everyone gets a vaccination. No immunoglobulin. See you back in three days for round two.


Conversation The Ninth and Final


Evening of day 13 after the initial rabies shot. Back in bedroom, this time the girls’ room. Girls are both in bed reading. Woman standing next to them, wringing her hands.


Woman:
How are you doing girls?
Girls:
Fine, Mommy.
Woman:
Do you feel okay?
Girls:
Yes, Mommy.
Woman:
How about a fever. Do you have a fever?
Girls:
No, Mommy.
Woman:
Are you sure? Let me feel your forehead.
Girls:
Moooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyy, stttttooooppppppp!
Woman:
Okay. Okay. You’re okay.
Girls:

Woman:
What about this glass of water. Are you afraid of it?
Girls:
No, Mommy.
Woman:
Well, really take a look at it. Is it scary water?
Girls:

Woman:
Okay…okay…I’ll stop. You’re fine. Fine.
Girls:
(continue reading)
Woman:

Girls:

Woman:
Are you sure you feel okay?

Fin.


51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had quite the ordeal!! You tell it with such humor, though! Poor little bat. :)

Chag said...

I'm sorry to be laughing at your misery, but that was hilarious. Hope everyone's doing ok!

Her Bad Mother said...

Rabies are bat babies! I'm not sure what made me laugh more, that or the fact the PA Dept.of Agriculture lab techs speak French.

Yes, you're suffering made me laugh. I make no apologies for this.

Queenie said...

I cannot help but laugh at your trials and tribulations and whatnot, but thank you for it. Also, am sorry for the whole bat thing. But rabies are bat babies? COMEDY GOLD.

Damselfly said...

Holy cow, woman! What a story! And you blog it with such grace. I love the honorary doctorate from Google University. Gotta get me one of those....

Stephanie T. said...

Bless your sweet, rabies-free hearts.

Hey, didn't I tell you this would make good blog fodder some day? You just needed a little distance.

Chase said...

A bat or a cat? A cat or a bat?

That whole bit sounded like Dr Seuss on acid. Verrry funny. Sorry about the scared-of-water thing. Hope you don't have rabies.

:)

anne said...

And the spin-off of this sitcom...

Scene: Woman's sister and woman's sister's hubby sitting on couch watching a movie late one evening.

Woman's sister: I hear something in the corner.
Woman's sister's hubby: Probably a mouse or a bat.

...about 20 minutes later...

Woman's sister: Oh, there it goes. It's a bat.
Woman's sister's hubby: Should I get Josette's cat?


Seriously, sis, wasn't it worth all the trouble just being able to have this kind of material?

Mrs. Chicky said...

Is it wrong that I peed my pants because I was laughing so hard at your misery that I couldn't control my bladder? Probably. Please, the next time you're going to write something like this warn me first so I can wear some Depends.

Rabies! Baby bats! Haaaa!

lemony said...

Bat with waffle?

*snort*

My bat story: Dog sees bat. Dog licks bat. Bat squeaks. Dog licks bat more. Bat flaps weakly at dog lips. Woman screams. Man scoops bat into bucket. The end.

Bat with waffle. I can't breathe.

xoxo

savagemama said...

All I know is that if any suspicious-looking animals turn up at my house...

I know who to call.

(Why let perfectly good rabies vaccines go to waste?)

jouette said...

you are amazing with your memory and dialog! i have been waiting to hear this story (and mostly the way you tell it) and love the pic at the bottom, rofl. glad it is over now, sweetie.

Jill said...

"Is it scary water?"

That line almost got me fired. I really shouldn't have loud snorts of laughter emanating from my office during work hours.

mothergoosemouse said...

Yep, I chuckled too. A lot. To the point that liquid spurted from both ends of me.

I'm just glad you guys are okay.

And the girls loved the dogs dressed as McD's chow.

KK said...

You slay me. A Ph.D. from Google!! Snort! Smooch.

Mary-LUE said...

What everyone else said. Also, I believe I have found my ROFL Award nominee for October!

Moobs said...

After all this your next child will, as a result of womb influence, grow up to be a maked crusader against crime.

penelopeto said...

rabies = bat babies? still laughing!
I'm not sure if the way that you guys trapped the bat shows ingenuity or insanity, but either way, well done!
glad there has been no foaming of the mouth in the halushki house.

Anonymous said...

I made the police come and get my bat once....what a hoot!
I've done the very painful rabies shots also-wrestling with wild kitty cat (blood poisioning didn't help matters-cat bites are very serious too-FYI)
The silver lining is that if you're ever exposed to rabid animals again-you'll only need one booster shot!! Whew whew!
I sound like that crazy crocodile wrestling Auzie??

T. said...

I had a bat in my house once. I sat out in the barn like a big baby (ironically, the barn was probably filled with bats) until my hubs got the bat out with a broom.

Sorry for your misery. But damn, I needed the laugh.

Rabies, bat babies...Hee hee.

jen said...

you are freaking hilarious. is there any whiskey left??

wordgirl said...

Sweet Lord! This post was like an episode of the Keystone Kops! At times, what with talk of bats and cats...I thought I was listening to a Dr. Seuss recitation. Nevertheless...funny as hell.

lildb said...

looks like I found my nomination for next month's ROFL award.

thanks for making it so easy for me, J. :)

xo

samalishy said...

Oh man, those dogs were hilarious.

kaliroz said...

Oh my good lord, woman! How can you stay so funny in the midst of all of that? And this ... "Woman: And I’m a well-read hypochondriac with an honorary doctorate from Google University…" made me laugh so hard I farted, loudly, at work.

I don't know whether to be upset by that or laugh some more!

MommaK said...

Oh poor you and family!! We went through this over the summer with my 11 year old so I know how much of a pain in the arse the whole deal is. 4 weeks of shots?? Oh joy!!

sweetney said...

GENIUS writing. I love nothing more than an empty dialogue box.

Kudos! ENCORE!

jenn said...

There is a Monty Python sketch in there somewhere, I know there is! (Hilarious story, btw... I would have reacted exactly the way you did. I am also a proud alumnus of Google University.)

Mommy off the Record said...

I can't help it. I must laugh at your bat drama! This was hilarious. I would have been the SAME exact way with getting those rabies shots - better to be safe than sorry, right?

Nichole said...

That was a great story. Thanks for sharing!

mom on a wire said...

The chat-chapeau part had me doubled over laughing!

printmaker123 said...

You made me laugh until I could not breath! That was such a GREAT story.

Amy said...

Funniest. Post. Ever. The tears are running down my face, and the office is afraid of me.

You're the best.

jaboobie said...

Great, about a dozen times of just scooping them up in my hands and shooing them out the door under my belt and never once I thought about rabies.

Now I've got the "rabies = bat babies" mnemonic stuck in my head forever to make me never forget.

Contrary said...

While I am deeply sorry for the ordeal that you and your family went through, that was the funniest thing I ever read. And I've read lots of funny things. I know from funny, is what I'm saying here.

Kelley said...

Whiskey? You have whiskey, and you are not sharing it with those that need it the most?

I scoff at your bat. I scoff at your bat because my dog - EVERYDAY - eats all manner of disgusting, pandemic-containing microbes. And I still sleep with her.

You, clearly, can only aspire to my degree of PUNK ROCK.

velocibadgergirl said...

Dude, I laughed my butt right off my body. AWESOME.

This Mom's got a NOTE.... said...

OMG!! I'm so sorry that happened!!! IT sounds too much like my life, other than I have 3 boys and 1 girl and the husband is usually still asleep while the boys & friends run through the house chasing the bat!!! With their little sister's dress-up clothes covering their hair!!! Thank you for a Great Friday laugh! I'm sorry about the hospital part though ..........Thankfully everything seems to have worked out okay.......

Monique said...

I found you through a link from a link. This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. You have a talent for storytelling. I'll definitely be back!

I hope the remaining shots weren't too traumatic and that everyone remains well.

Charlotte's Mom said...

You may be the funniest mother-writer ever. Must sell this story to someone.

And, for the bat-idote: go to the bookstore and read Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies. Bats can be funny and silly, too. Really.

Thanks!

Julie Pippert said...

There is not an otion.

This post?

Must. be. nominated. for. an. award.

Period.

In fact, it has beem. :)

Julie Pippert said...

And I'm not a bad typist. Or drunk. Or anything like that.

I know my otions from my options and my beens from my beems.

I do.

Anonymous said...

Hysterical! Sorry to laugh at your expense. Love the photo of the dogs. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Momish said...

Too hysterical! The story, not the event, mind you. I once thought I had rabies too from a bat, so I know how terrifying it is to go through that. The bat was in my friend's car and flew right into my head. Actually touched my head! I won't reveal how it got into the car other than saying it was put in there by two animal lovers attempting to save it by stuffing it into an envelope which was obviously not sealed. Everyone told me afterwards that any bat lying half dead on a street in daylight is rabid. I didn't sleep for two weeks! Scary stuff!

kfk said...

This is much better than looking at a picture of four dogs dressed as hamburgers.

This made me choke:

AP: Now listen here. I have a Ph.D. in microbiology and am an expert in the field of virology….

Woman: And I’m a well-read hypochondriac with an honorary doctorate from Google University….

Congrats on your ROFL award!

Mommy off the Record said...

Congrats on the ROFL. Well-deserved. This one had me laughing out loud the first time I read it!

Kristen said...

This was written brilliantly. Hilarious! (But I hope you're all fine now...)

Val Cox said...

what a funny story, love it!

Stacey said...

Awesome story! Love how you told it!

Black Hockey Jesus said...

1). Doesn't like Gonzo.
2). This story.

Hmmmmm.

Plus I liked your angry dad poem, but comments were closed.

Fraulein N said...

"Rabies are bat babies!" Hee! A bat came into the room where my mother and I were sleeping once. She covered my head with a sheet and then left, closing the door behind her. She LEFT ME IN THERE. WITH A BAT. My own mother!

And we didn't even think to get it checked for rabies.

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